By Greg Seubert
Shawano County, Wis. — It doesn’t have the fish-producing reputation of its big brother the Wolf River, but the Embarrass River in Shawano County provides plenty of opportunities for anglers to drop a line.
Three branches of the Embarrass – the North, South, and West – have their starts in Shawano County before converging and flowing into the Wolf in New London to the south.
All three branches flow through or near several communities in Shawano County that have boat landings or shore-fishing opportunities on ponds.
While the fish didn’t cooperate on a recent visit to four of those ponds, the potential is certainly there. This tour started in Caroline, a small community a few miles north of Hwy. 45, where the Middle and South branches join to create 23-acre Caroline Pond. A boat landing can be found in American Legion Park on Hwy. M.
According to information on the DNR website, smallmouth bass and northern pike are listed as common, while panfish and largemouth bass are present.
Northern pike, bass, and bluegills were feeding on the surface just off the boat landing at 8 a.m. A large northern jumped completely out of the water just west of the landing, but for some reason, the fish weren’t cooperating from the landing’s pier.
A town of Scott park just east of Caroline on Hwy. M leads to public access for trout anglers on the North Branch. There’s plenty of open river for fly fishermen, which may be the way to go. A new spinning lure, fresh out of the package, now dangles from a tree branch in the park.
Ten miles east of Caroline on Hwy. M is the town of Pella, where a pair of dams on the North Branch create 49-acre Pella Pond that harbors smallmouth bass, pike and panfish.
A boat landing is located in Old Mill Park, but there isn’t much head room under the bridge that leads to the pond. The community also has a pair of handicapped-accessible fishing piers adjacent to the largest of the two dams. There’s plenty of room for shore anglers, but, just like at Caroline, the fish weren’t biting that morning.
One angler, who was launching his boat, said he was trying the pond for the first time, but said the river below the dams was good for smallmouths, walleyes and sheepshead.
A worthwhile side trip to the next community – Leopolis – is Hayman Falls County Park on the North Branch about three miles west of Pella off of Hwy. D. The main attraction is Hayman Falls, which is more of a rapids than a waterfall. However, visitors get closer access to the falls than most parks offer.
The fast-moving stream is loaded with large boulders and downed timber. Possible hiding spots for smallmouths? That’s to be determined.
Hwy. D west out of Pella leads to Leopolis, home to the 3-acre Leopolis Pond on the North Branch. The pond can be seen from Hwy. D. It’s managed for trout and smallies. A carry-in boat is available off Hwy. D.
Tilleda, five miles northwest of Leopolis on Hwy. D, is home to 28-acre Tilleda Pond, another pond on the North Branch. A small landing is located on Airport Road on the east shore. Only trolling motors are allowed. The pond holds largemouth bass, panfish and trout. The pond is closed to fishing from October through the inland opener on the first Saturday in May.
The bay to the right of the landing is loaded with creek chubs, which means largemouths can’t be far away.
The nice thing about the Caroline, Pella, Leopolis, and Tilleda ponds is they’re relatively close to each other and have public access for boaters and shore anglers.